Skin cancer treatment in Denver
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., however, skin cancer can usually be treated successfully when caught early.
HealthONE's oncologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of skin cancer. We use advanced techniques and treatments—including minimally invasive surgery—to provide patients with high-quality care.
For more information about cancer diagnosis, treatment and other services, call askSARAH at (303) 253-3225.
Collaborative skin cancer care
We use an interdisciplinary approach that brings together medical professionals from many specialties who specialized in cancer care. This allows us to provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan to meet your unique needs as a patient.
Our team includes:
- Medical oncologists
- Radiation oncologists
Specialized cancer care center
At Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center, our Complex Melanoma and Skin Cancer Treatment Center provides advanced treatment for patients with skin cancer.
Preventive skin care
Prevention is the best medicine, which is why our doctors encourage regular screenings. We recommend that everyone should get a full-body skin cancer screening once a year. Early detection and proper treatment of skin cancer are very important to increase the ability of curing the cancer. Our primary care physicians and dermatology specialists can help guide you through skin cancer screening.
Performing self-exams can also be helpful in detecting skin cancer. When performing a skin self-exam, it is important to check your whole body thoroughly, not missing any areas. Pay close attention to your scalp, neck, arms and other areas on your head and face that receive a lot of sunlight. Become familiar with where your moles, birthmarks and blemishes are located and what they look like.
Bend your elbows and look carefully at your forearms, upper arms and hands. Make sure to check the undersides of these areas as well. Look at the back and front of your legs and feet. Do not forget between your toes and the soles of your feet. Check your back and buttocks as well.
Diagnosing skin cancer
Using advanced diagnostic procedures, our team can determine the type of cancer, pinpoint its precise location and examine the extent to which it has spread.
Our experts may use one or more of the following to find and stage the cancer:
Biopsy—We offer multiple types of biopsies. These include:
- Excision biopsy—The entire growth will be removed.
- Punch biopsy—A tiny round piece of the growth and layers under the skin are removed.
- Top layer biopsy—The top layer of the growth is removed.
- Imaging tests— We use various diagnostic imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT), X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to see if the suspected cancer has spread.
- Skin examination (dermoscopy)—As a skin examination is a visual look at the skin to see the size, shape, color and texture of the suspicious spot, a special microscope or magnifying lens may be used to view it more carefully.
Types of skin cancer we treat
Our skin cancer specialists treat all types of skin cancer, including:
- Basal cell carcinoma—Basil cell carcinoma can be flat, raised or shiny. It can be red, pink or clear in color. Some larger basal cell cancers may be crusted over or ooze. They may also heal and come back.
- Melanoma—Although melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, it can be completely cured if found early and completely removed. Most melanomas are brown, blue, black or multicolored with brown, red, blue and black areas. Melanomas may itch or bleed, but most melanomas cause no symptoms. Look for moles with irregular shapes or borders.
- Squamous cell carcinoma—Squamous cell carcinoma is usually a new growth. They look like cuts that have not healed, and they may bleed easily. They may also have a hard, rough or scaly appearance.
Treatment options for skin cancers
We are committed to using advanced technology and techniques to treat skin cancer.
Our treatment plans may include:
- Cryotherapy—Freezing and destroying the cancerous tissue
- Dermabrasion—Using an abrasive device to rub away the cancerous cells
- Chemotherapy—Cancer-destroying medications taken by mouth, injection or application on the skin
- Immunotherapy—Special drugs used to help the immune system identify and attack cancer cells
- Photodynamic therapy—Special drugs taken by mouth used in conjunction with a special light to activate the drug’s effects
- Radiation therapy—High-energy X-rays or other radiation sources used to kill the cancer cells and prevent growth
Mohs micrographic surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery is an advanced treatment provided for skin cancer. It is typically used for the two common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. This procedure offers the highest potential for recovery.
Mohs surgery allows specially trained dermatologists to see beyond the visible disease and precisely identify and remove the entire tumor, leaving healthy tissue unharmed. During this procedure, each layer of cancerous tissue is removed and examined under a microscope until all the cancer has been removed.
According to the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS), Mohs surgery provides the highest cure rate of all treatments for skin cancer—up to 95 percent—even if other forms of treatment have failed. This procedure minimizes the chance of regrowth and lessens the potential for scarring or disfigurement.
About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute
As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.
Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (303) 253-3225 or chat online at askSARAHnow.